Scientists have identified the gene which produces the hereditary Park8 variant of Parkinson’s

Research began when doctors discovered that various members of the same family had Parkinson’s. There are many kinds of Parkinson’s and some are hereditary.

Now, a group of scientists have identified the gene which produces the hereditary Park8 variant of Parkinson’s in four Basque families and another in the UK. The gene is called dardarina; a term derived from Basque which means tremble. The mutation of this gene is the cause of the hereditary Park8 variant of Parkinson’s.

The research has been led by Doctor Jordi Perez-Tur of the Valencia Institute of Biomedicine and hospitals from Donostia, Mendaro and Zumarraga (in the Basque Country) have participated in the investigation, together with researchers from the UK and the USA.

Current investigation is directed at discovering the function that the dardarina gene has inside the cell – at finding out how the gene works when there is no mutation. This has yet to be elucidated although hypotheses point to a function similar to that of kinasa.

It is important to mention that the incidence of Park8 variant is estimated to be about 10-15% of the total cases of Parkinson’s.

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